UK Government Launches Consultation on Cobham-Ultra Electronics Deal

The British government on Thursday initiated a consultation on Cobham’s proposed acquisition of U.K.-based defense contractor Ultra Electronics to address national security issues associated with the planned transaction.

In August 2021, Cobham agreed to acquire Ultra Electronics for approximately $3.6 billion.

The proposed undertakings that Cobham offered to address national security concerns are now open for public consultation through July 3, in compliance with the process stipulated in the Enterprise Act 2002, the British government said Thursday.

These undertakings cover access to intellectual property, International Traffic in Arms Regulations protections, board representation, step-in rights, articles of association and creation of two SecureCos or U.K. legal entities encompassing Ultra facilities delivering sensitive capabilities to the U.K. government.

No decision will be taken by the Business Secretary until the consultation has concluded and the representations have been carefully considered,” the U.K. government notice reads.

Cobham, which makes aerial refueling technology, became a private company after it was acquired by U.S.-based private equity firm Advent International in 2020.

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